China is considering using nuclear-powered ships for polar exploration according to a military official quoted by China Daily.
"Compared with ships that use conventional propulsion, nuclear-powered ships can travel farther and are more reliable, factors that make the ships a reasonable choice for polar expeditionary missions," said Du Wenlong, a senior researcher at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science.
China made its first Arctic crossing last summer, when the ship Xuelong travelled 90 days from Qingdao on the Pacific Ocean to Iceland in the Atlantic. Expedition leader Huigen Yang, head of the Polar Research Institute of China, said at the time that he had expected to encounter more ice than he did.
The China Daily article points out that China could use the nuclear technology to power aircraft carriers. That's no huge surprise, since China has already indicated its intentions to build such a craft by 2020. Currently only the United States and France operate nuclear-powered carriers - the U.S. has 10, and France has one.